Thursday, July 07, 2005

birthday day o' fun

My friend Julie always plans one full day of activities for her husband's birthday which she calls the "day o' fun." I actually remembered to take photos of my 29th birthday day o' fun and now that I've finally figured out how to post several photos in one post (thanks to Hannah telling me about blogger images!), I can share them with you in the actual order of occurence. *Note: This is the absolute longest post ever...I'm having WAY TOO MUCH fun with this multiple photo posting.

I woke up on my birthday for the second time that morning (see here if you're confused) craving french toast. I really wanted to go to Milton's (my favorite breakfast place in Lawrence), but now that we live in KC I decided it probably wasn't realistic for us to drive there just to satisfy my cravings (even though it was my birthday). A chain restaurant was definitely out, so I jumped on the internet to search for a hole-in-the-wall place that served cheap french toast. Ruby's Dagwoods was the winner -- both in 2001 for Best Cheap Eats and July 2, 2005 for Kristen's 29th birthday breakfast. As if the Best Cheap Eats award was not enough to convince me, this is what we encountered when we pulled into the parking lot. Who would not want to eat their birthday breakfast here?

Although I don't smoke, and typically dislike eating in smoking establishments, this sign seemed to endear me even more to the place.

Ruby's was awesome. Immediately after entering I knew the waitress would know everyone's name in the place. I almost felt like we shouldn't be there since we weren't regulars, but she quickly embraced us as if we were her own children.

Our menu?
For the birthday girl:
- a big tall glass of orange juice (served in a melamine "frosted" glass)
- two pieces of thick french toast (on Texas toast of course)
- a side of hashbrowns

For John:
- same as me (sans hashbrowns)
- two eggs over-easy
- a cup of black coffe (the worst he said he'd tasted in years...he's a coffee snob now that he's run a coffeeshop for the past 3 years)

For Margot:
- one piece of wheat toast soaked in a LARGE amount of butter (I could actually hear her young arteries clogging).

We didn't enjoy any of the menu items listed on the sign outside...

...nope, no tenderloins for me before noon (although I do think John could eat chicken fried steak at 9am if he really put his mind to it). However, I think Margot came very close to bringing on a heart attack in an elderly man that walked by our table to say hi to her. Currently Margot is not particularly fond of older men...or men with facial hair. This gentleman fit both categories and so there was no escaping her typical response -- explosive cry with frightened look. At that point we decided it was time for the check.

It was then home for a nap for Margot (yes, already). We put Margot down and after thirty minutes of quiet, a nap started to sound pretty good to John and I (remember: 4am). Just as our heads sunk into the pillow, little miss angel decided she had had enough beauty sleep. So we headed off to the Reading Reptile, a children's bookstore I have been wanting to check out for awhile (check out their "about us" page...not what you'd expect from owners of a children's bookstore).

This is my new favorite place. It's easy to see why they won an award for excellence in children's bookselling (you can see photos of the store here). Scattered around the store are lots of large paper mache replicas of characters popularized in children's books. In the back of the store is a stage (complete with velvet curtain!) where they have storytime and show movies. Also in the back is a huge section that looks to be dedicated to crafts. They have every children's book you would ever want and much, much more (whole sections dedicated to weather, the human body, environment and on and on). Although Margot didn't look at any books, she kept busy petting the cat...

...and playing with this...

She just loves these bead contraptions. On the way home I found a much smaller version at a garage sale -- the best $0.25 I ever spent I tell ya.

Then it was on to "Tea at 3" at Gail's. It was so nice to have time with just girlfriends and no children to chase around. My dear friend Sarah made these to-die-for truffles.

I know, I know it's not fair to tease, but I had to share. The evening ended with dinner at Osteria Il Centro (that's my shadow at the bottom)...

...and a relaxing walk around the Plaza. We were planning on catching a movie, but didn't think we'd make it through one due to our (very) early morning.

I absolutely LOVE celebrating birthdays...especially my own. But honestly, after having my daughter I figured the days of fun birthdays for me were over. Not true. This was definitely a day o' fun!


hannah said...

hooray for day o' fun! love dagwoods. two other great spots for greasy local breakfasts are nichols lunch and the corner restaurant. yummy fancy breakfast can be found at sucotash at the river market. i love breakfast, cant you tell?? happy birthday!

Laura said...

Wow! What a day! I'll have to remember to treat myself that way next time around--thanks for setting the example. (I love mom and pop places too--for some reason the grime there doesn't bother me the way it does in a chain, although it's the same grease.)

Stephanie said...

Sounds like a wonderful birthday! I laughed and laughed at your description of Margot frightening/being frightened by the old man.
Also, the pictures are fabulous! Happy Birthday, once again :)

lindsay said...

many happy birthdays to yourself and margot!! after reading your day o'fun i realized that i don't do enough to celebrate my birthday. i always get a little nervous when it comes around. but maybe by celebrating i'll gladly welcome the next year. thanks for the inspiration.

Karyn said...

every bookstore should come with a resident cat. that cat looks like s/he is having too much fun with Thomas the Tank Engine - look at that paw - ready to grab the first engine that comes through the tunnel!